| April 8, 2011

Coburn Opposes Using Federal Grant Money to Build Exchange

[The following statement from Sen. Tom Coburn’s office outlines the “official position of Dr. Coburn on the plan to implement a state health exchange in Oklahoma.”]

Dr. Coburn supports state-based efforts to create free-market, voluntary health insurance exchanges that encourage transparency, consumer choice, and individual control. States should be able to use state dollars to pursue innovative strategies to better equip consumers with information about their health coverage choices. In this model, consumers can compare plans via the Internet or a toll-free number, so they can choose a plan tailored to their individual needs. In this way, state-based exchanges can help facilitate the purchase of private health insurance based on price and quality.

The kind of market-based solution Dr. Coburn supports looks a lot like Utah’s market-based health exchange. It does NOT resemble Massachusetts’ heavily regulated, state-level bureaucracy, or the federally mandated exchanges required by Obamacare—both of which are built around an individual mandate and price controls on private health insurance that increase the cost of health insurance for consumers. The main problem with health insurance is that it costs too much—but the changes in Massachusetts have been proven to simply increase the cost of coverage, while failing to improve access.

Dr. Coburn supports states using state dollars to tackle the challenges of their own population. He does not think that any state involved in a lawsuit against Obamacare should use Administration grant dollars to set up an exchange—regardless of whether that exchange looks more like Utah’s model or Obamacare’s model. He is glad that Oklahoma has filed a lawsuit against Obamacare and will continue to do everything he can at a federal level to overturn this unconstitutional $2.6 trillion law that fails to fix what is broken in our health care system.

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